The recent devastation and flooding brought on by Hurricane Harvey will have many Houston homeowners asking “Can I sell my flooded home?”.
The short answer is “YES!”
But, before you decide to sell your flooded home you should consider if it’s the correct decision for you. Once your home is flooded, there are several steps you need to follow as soon as possible.
Call your insurance company
Call your insurance company for guidance whether or not you have flood insurance. Take pictures of all your rooms and damaged furniture. Measure the height of the waterline and take a picture with the measurement.
Assess the damage
You can hire a contractor and inspector specializing in flooded homes to help you determine the damage. Your insurance company will send out their own person as well.
You will want to ensure that your structure and foundation does not have issues, so that it’s safe to enter your home. As safety is the utmost concern, when you begin your work, you’ll want to wear work gloves and a respirator mask. According to the CDC, an acceptable mask is the N95 respirator mask; they can be easily found at Home Depot.
You will want to remove all mud and debris out of the flooded home and rinse down whatever surfaces you can. Remove all wet fabrics and furniture. This means you will have to remove the carpet and the padding. The carpet and padding will need to be thrown away. Leave your belongings and furniture outside to dry.
You should be able to see the waterline on the walls and cabinets. Sheetrock is damaged once it gets wet and will harbor mold and odors. You will want to remove it above the waterline. A razor knife will allow you to cut straight smooth edges that will make sheetrock installation easier in the future.
Your wooden floors could be salvaged but need to be dried out. There is a chance they swelled or buckled, in which case you may consider getting new flooring.
Once you have everything removed, you will want to dry, dry and dry some more! Using fans and blowers is an effective way to help dry. If your electricity is on, running your AC helps remove moisture.
Estimating Repair Costs
At this point, you have prepped your house for repair and prevented further damage (your wallet will thank you). Now you can get a repair bid, and homeowner beware it’s going to be expensive! The demand for contractors during a flood event is very high. Supplies run low and so everything will go up in price. The repairs on a flood home require extra remediation to ensure no mold growth is allowed. This includes expensive mold reports, ozone machines and lots of bleach.
Can I sell my flooded home?
Now you have to make a decision. Do you want to wait to process claims and deal with the repairs? It can take up to a 12 months to finally get your house back in livable condition. If you don’t have flood insurance, you may be on the hook for the entire bill and have to dip into savings or get federal assistance from FEMA.
Your other option is to sell your flooded home as-is and let someone else deal with the repairs. For a no obligation consultation, call 713-322-6645 or submit your information on the form below!